Firefighters brace themselves for another night of raging blazes

A biological sciences professor at UCT on Wednesday said that some good may come from the fires.

The Wood Owl cottage has been destroyed in the mountain fire. Picture: Shamiela Fisher/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - As firefighters brace themselves for a fourth night to battle the wild fires around the Cape Peninsula, huge blazes continue to spread in various areas.

The City of Cape Town is now in talks with national government to get more resources to fight the fires.

Mayor Patricia de Lille on Wednesday afternoon said firefighters needed help.

She's also condemned the looting of homes that have been vacated by their owners.

"These people sit around and whenever they see an opportunity where they can pick from vulnerable people, they do so and it's really unbecoming."

The fires have also disrupted schooling.

Muizenberg Junior School and Reddam House in Tokai encouraged their parents to fetch their children earlier on Wednesday due to overwhelming smoke.

Reddam's Director, Sheena Crawford-Kempster said, "The smoke was becoming quite dense at the school so we sent messages to parents to say if parents felt their kids would get smoke inhalation then they are free to fetch them."

Meanwhile, a biological sciences professor at University of Cape Town said that some good may come from the fires.

Dr Adam West said it was natural for fires to flare up every 10 to 15 years as a way for the fynbos to thrive.

"The last time the area burnt was in 2000 so the fire is on time and it's a good time of the year; so by the time the winter rain comes the plants would have re-established. There will be new growth that the animals love."


Firefighters were concentrating on keeping the fires in Tokai and Clovelly away from a number of homes.

The City's Theo Layne said there was no need for residents near the affected areas to be evacuated.

Layne said it could change later, depending on the weather.

"The focus is on the Tokai and Clovelly areas to divert the fires from the residential areas."

The battle against a series of blazes in the Cape has eased slightly with cooler, wetter weather.

But the weather service said although the winds were dying down, they would pick up again on Thursday with a South Easterly.

Spokesperson Mathapelo Makgabutlane said, "We're not expecting any rain tonight, just some cloudy conditions."

Meanwhile, the Overberg Municipality said two of the six fires raging in the area have yet not been brought under control.

The two separate fires have been described as big and problematic.

To access EWN's live blog on the fire click here.

All pictures by EWN.

Watch: Fire guts Cape Town properties.